Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Complexity

Blur, photo by Phil Roeder, from Flickr, Creative Commons

Complexity

Our poetry
Gets buried
In the blur
In inconsistency
Becoming obscurity
Before anyone ever sees


© March 13, 2013, Robbie Pruitt



Monday, April 14, 2014

Whispered Confession

Alone, photo by Lee J Haywood, from Flickr

Whispered Confession

In whispered
Hushed tone
I confess to you
I do not want
To be alone


© February 17, 2013, Robbie Pruitt

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Work

Work, photo by Sean MacEntee, from Flickr

Work

She said,
“Now we have to go to work,
Because of the fall.”
They say, “All striving is pride.”
Not at all! …Not at all!


© January 28, 2013, Robbie Pruitt


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cupped Words

Word cloud coffee cup, photo by vivevans
from Creative Commons

Cupped Words

Longingly cupping
Your loving words
Cradled and cupped
They poured out in form
Filled to brim—reborn
Cupped words
Poured into—assured


© February 22, 2013, Robbie Pruitt

Friday, April 11, 2014

Rainstorms


Rain on my window, photo by ❀ Melissa Mathies /


Rainstorms

Cloudbursts
Thunder
Distant—
As the day is long
The rain—
Drops
Outside my window—
Pain


© March 30, 2014, Robbie Pruitt


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Illumined

Ruby Light Bleed I, photo by liquid night

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” –John 8:12


Illumined

The Light bled the darkness
And took it for all it was worth.
Illuminating shadows—
Igniting new birth.


© February 25, 2014, Robbie Pruitt


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Warehouses of Steel

Hays Galleria / roof, photo by George Rex

Warehouses of Steel

Warehouses of steel
Flash by windows
Light flickers
Protruding through pine
Working tough through time


© December 30, 2013, Robbie Pruitt


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Fields of Gold

Golden Field, photo by Axel Schwenke

Fields of Gold

Coronas in mid-morning-cold
Speeding past fields blowing bold
Spinning straw into gold


© December 30, 2013, Robbie Pruitt

Monday, April 7, 2014

Adore

Soaring, photo by parker yo!, from Flickr, Creative Commons

Adore

Our love burns like fire
Beyond our desire
Beyond definition
Beyond encyclopedia description
Our love soars—
Flies high above expectation
Like a mother bird adores


© April 1, 2014, Robbie Pruitt



Sunday, April 6, 2014

Love Thunder

Thunder, photo by mhaller1979 from Flickr, Creative Commons

Love Thunder

Our love is happy
To combat the gloom
Love thunder—
Making room
You let down your hair
Electric is our love
As love fills the air


© April 2, 2014, Robbie Pruitt

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Bell Tolls Desire

Tintinnabulation, photo by K. M. Gong, from Creative Commons

The Bell Tolls Desire

Tintinnabulation
When toes touch body
In undulation
The windows fog
Your mouth soft on mine
Ratcheting desire in time

The bell tolls desire
Our love will never tire


© April 3, 2014, Robbie Pruitt


Friday, April 4, 2014

Judas: 30 Pieces of Silver


Judas: 30 Pieces of Silver

I’ve got 30 pieces of me
Wrapped up in sackcloth and misery
30 pieces of treachery
Silver pieces of sin and sorrow
Turning freedom into slavery
Stealing away my tomorrow
I’ve got 30 pieces of silver sin
Selling me out and trading me in
30 pieces of death and regret
Cheap trinkets and lies—I lost the bet
Without a doubt—I’ve got 30 pieces of selling out
Gambled with Life and sold Him strife!
This is what I’m all about
My life hangs in silver pieces
Death and judgment into eternity
I’ve got 30 pieces of me
One silver coin of self-flipping in the air—
No sense of concern; no empathy; no care
One silver coin of selfishness and apathy—
I led them to he garden at night, you see—
Darkness got the best of me
One silver coin of greed and tragedy—
A public spectacle for all to see
One silver coin slide—
I have nothing but my pride
One silver coin roll—
I’m a devil out of control
One silver coin of lies—
Deceit covered all eyes
One silver coin would just roll and roll—
Religion takes its toll; it sells the soul
One silver coin of shame—
I gave them His place and His name
One silver coin of lust—
I seek my own good, because I must
One silver coin tumbles to the floor—
All I wanted was just a little more
One silver coin sings with a ring—
I sold out The King of Kings—
For anything a King would bring
One silver coin crashes—
I took the money and He took the lashes
One silver coin shimmer—
It’s the things of this world that glimmer
One silver coin of thirty—
My hands are dirty
One silver coin fall—
This looser looses all
One silver coin bounces and flips—
Trust is gone; I’ve lost my grip
One silver coin hits the wall—
I took the money; He took the fall
One silver coin clashes another—
I sold out my brother
One silver coin dances in the spill—
I stole from the poor; it’s a bitter pill
One silver coin with another, they meet—
I betray with a kiss when I greet
One silver coin rolled alone—
It spilt out upon the stone
One silver coin numbered with many—
Buried in the potter’s field, a death as good as any
One silver coin spun in time—
We dip together when we dine, His hand and mine
One silver coin teetered and swayed—
Lies, death, greed, lust and idols persuade
One silver coin drops in line—
A coward coerced and without a spine
One silver coin follows the other—
In the darkness of the darkness’s cover
One silver coin snags and shakes loose—
Hangs in the bag like the betrayer’s noose
One silver coin fell through the cracks—
This one has a devil and the devil gives no take-backs
One silver coin snagged and delayed—
The deed has been done; He was betrayed
One silver coin splashed and up it sprang—
There from the branch despair would hang
I’ve got 30 pieces of me
Poured out on the ground for all to see


© February 26, 2014, Robbie Pruitt


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Judas: Blood Cries from the Ground

Cain Killing Able, photo by gabork, from Creative Commons

Judas: Blood Cries from the Ground

Judas—The Potter’s Field
Drips with the blood
Of this tree’s yield
Your Brother’s blood
It cries out—Judas—
From the ground
As in the days of Able—
The day of Cain’s betrayal.
He offered the perfect sacrifice
But yours would not suffice
And it cries from the ground
Below the burst of the noose
Where your life was bound.
Redemption was won on another tree,
—Judas—Bought by the blood of Calvary
A perfect sacrifice for eternity
He is His brother’s keeper
In this—This is His perfect chivalry


© February 11, 2014, Robbie Pruitt

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Judas

Judas Iscariot, photo by paukrus, from Flickr

Judas

The one who dips with me
My betrayer is at hand
Do what you are going to do
Do it quickly

Caught red handed
Betrayal—
Betrayer, I am branded
Sealed with a kiss
The deed is done
I’m exposed. All is amiss.

30 pieces of silver
Clash against cobblestones
Splashed out under the overtones
I was paid and now I am alone
Hung from the proceeds
Buried in the land that bleeds

In the Potter’s Field
Dangled from a tree
Blood spilled out and burst asunder
Buried under guilt below broken noose
Turned inside out and cut loose
Death and consequences revealed


© February 11, 2014, Robbie Pruitt


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What goes with a poem?

Poetry Books, photo by chillihead from Flickr

What goes with a poem?

Words and wisdom
Whimsy and wine
Weariness and waywardness
Whimsy and whine
Wishful thinking and water
Waking and want
Wallowing and woe
Whimpering and why
Will and whim
Will I and will you
Weakness and we
Withholding and wandering
Wonder and winter
War and wages
Woman and wild
Warped and worry
Walking and withering
Writhing and writing
Wincing and wrenching
Winsome and winning
Whenever and wherever
Whoever and whatever


© January 23, 2013, Robbie Pruitt

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Tin

Tin Siding Texture, photo by TinaSea from Flickr

Tin

The tin roof
Rattles in the wind
Drums at the branches
As they blow
Creeks under the weight
Of winter’s first snow
And has a tinny ring
In the first rains of spring
The tin roof—she sings


© February 6, 2014, Robbie Pruitt



Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Sense of the Midlands

Photo of the A Sense of the Midlands cover
and the launch invite from jaspercolumbia.net

I am excited to be a small part of this anthology, A Sense of the Midlands, and am very proud of the arts in my hometown, Columbia, South Carolina! The folks over at Muddy Ford Press and Jasper Magazine - The Word on Columbia Arts, are doing some great work promoting the arts and local artists in South Carolina!

My poem that is included in this work is What the Moon Say. This is an older poem, which I wrote from the rooftop of the old, and then abandoned, Olympia Mill back in 2001. I was bored one afternoon and was doing some “urban hiking,” when I found myself staring at a full moon in the evening hue from the roof of the old mill. The cityscape was before me and it was strikingly beautiful.

I thought about the moon that night and all that it has witnessed over the course of time and how it seemed to look down on the world with unspoken wisdom. Time sort of stood still and I thought, “This moon was here when we were born, it watches us live and it will be here when we die.” My next thought was getting off the roof of the mill before it was pitch-black dark.

Here is part of the press release and the invitation for the launch of A Sense of the Midlands:

The public is invited to celebrate the launch of A Sense of the Midlands on Saturday February 22nd from 5 – 7 pm at the Columbia Music Festival Association Art Space at 914 Pulaski Street in Columbia’s historic Vista. Admission is $15 which includes a copy of A Sense of the Midlands, admission to the reception from 5 – 6 during which authors will be available for signing, and admission to a reading from the book from 6 – 7. (Two attendees sharing a book will be admitted for $20.)

Read the entire press release for A Sense of the Midlands on Jasper Magazine’s website here.

Read about A Sense of the Midlands on Muddy Ford Press’s website here.

Buy your own copy of A Sense of the Midlands from Amazon.com here.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Jonah: Out of the Depths—Resurrection

Jonah and the Whale, by Alma Sheppard-Matsuo

Cover art, Jonah and the Whale, by Alma Sheppard-Matsuo
Photo provided courtesy of the artist.
Originally posted here on Tablet: A New Read on Jewish Life:
In the Story of Jonah, an Urgent Lesson
About the Dangers of Solitary Confinement

Poem series on the book of Jonah
By Robbie Pruitt, © January 7, 2014

Artwork by Jack Baumgartner
Photos used courtesy of the artist.
For more artwork by Jack, 
visit The School of the Transfer of Energy:

Jonah, by Albert Pinkham Ryder, 
public domain from Wikimedia Commons

Jonah Chapter One
Jonah (in progress), by Jack Baumgartner, http://theschoolofthetransferofenergy.com

“The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.’ But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.”  –Jonah 1:1-3, NIV

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”  –Luke 15:20, NIV

“Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’”  –Luke 19:9-10, NIV


Jonah: The Man Who Ran

To that great city, Nineveh,
Jonah, go and cry
For the sins of this people
They shall surely die

Jonah, the man that ran
Fled to Tarshish
To avoid that land
But he did not escape God’s hand

He boarded the boat at Joppa
To escape his task
No one seemed to notice
And no one cared to ask

Then, a storm arose on the sea
All were tossed in violent rage
In fear they screamed out,
“What is this all about?”

They prayed to their gods
While Jonah slept sound
The people were in a panic
They began to gather round

“Awake you sleeper,” they cried.
“Pray to your god so we will stay alive”
“This is because of me,” Jonah said.
“Throw me in or you will all be dead!”

They began to row to land
Not wanting his blood on their hands
They prayed to the Lord
And threw Jonah overboard

The sea grew calm and stayed
And these men were so afraid
Jonah’s God listened as they prayed
In gratitude, great sacrifices were paid

God provided a huge fish
And it swallowed Jonah whole
Jonah was hardened and rebellious
And this was about to take its toll


© January 7, 2014, by Robbie Pruitt


Jonah (1998), by Jack Baumgartner, http://theschoolofthetransferofenergy.com

The Sign of Jonah

Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, ‘Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.’ He answered, ‘A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here.”  –Matthew 12:38-42, NIV


Jonah Chapter Two

Jonah, by Albert Pinkham Ryder, 
public domain, Wikimedia Commons

“When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, 
and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.”  Jonah 2:7, NIV

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?”  –Psalm 22:1, NIV

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.”  –Psalm 40:1-3, NIV


Seaweed

Into the abyss
Over the hull
Into the sea
Sin’s consequences
Wrapped around me
From the tall weeds
Come my pleas for mercy
Your grace envelops
Like an ocean’s tide
Swallowed by Your leniency
In Your love I abide
Your love—even here
It holds me near
Wrapped in seaweed
Covered in guilt and shame
But your salvation overcame
The grip loosened from my neck
Breath returned and the blood flowed—Life!
Hope illuminated the darkness and strife
In the bowels of earth where mountains take root
My prison cell—a shadowy hell—and here You save
I see you now, up on Your throne of glory ray
In Your Holy Temple You listen as I pray
May I not turn to idols from Your great Love
But sacrifice to You oh God above
“Salvation comes from the Lord.”
My God will lead me to the surface!
For His good purpose
Resurrection—the shoreline of eternity
Out from the tangle of seaweed
I will walk in Your purpose for me


© January 7, 2014, by Robbie Pruitt


Jonah Chapter Three

The Whale (1998), by Jack Baumgartner, http://theschoolofthetransferofenergy.com

“Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.’ Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, ‘Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.’ The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.”  –Jonah 3:1-5, NIV


Jonah: The Sermon and the Land

“Heed my call and preach my Word,”
The Lord declared and Jonah conceded the call
He journeyed to Nineveh for the sake of them all

“Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”

The one true God of Israel will be known.
The Ninevites believed God, repented and fasted
Jonah knew their rebellion would not have lasted

The king of Nineveh tore his robe and repented
He proclaimed a fast and they all turned to God
And for their obedience God spared His rod


© January 7, 2014, by Robbie Pruitt


Jonah Chapter Four

Jonah and the Gourd Vine (1999), by Jack Baumgartner, http://theschoolofthetransferofenergy.com

“But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, ‘Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.’”  –Jonah 4:1-2, NIV

“The Lord said, ‘You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?’”  –Jonah 4:10-11, NIV


Jonah: The Vine and the City

Jonah, the pouting prophet,
Knew what God would do
If God would spare him,
God would spare Nineveh too.

Jonah was angry and indignant.
He despised this Ninevite people.
And knew what their salvation meant.
Jonah was at his threshold. He was spent.

“Isn’t this what I said, Lord?” Jonah prayed.
“I knew you were gracious and compassionate
Slow to anger and abounding in love . . .
This is why I tried to run away!”

“Is it right for you to be angry?” the Lord replied.
Jonah just sat there wishing he had died.
God gave Jonah a shady plant to sit under and morn.
But when God made it die, he wished he had never been born.

“Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” God said.
“You care more for it than you do for the people.”
God continued, “If I could spare you the vine,
Should I not also spare this City of mine?”


© January 7, 2014, by Robbie Pruitt


The Ancient Ocean (in progress), by Jack Baumgartner, http://theschoolofthetransferofenergy.com